Bravery in the face of romantic uncertainty. Confidence in solitude or togetherness. These are the themes approached by Smile. Lioba’s third single released from her upcoming album, due out later in 2023. Joining ballad Magnolia and pop dreamscape At The Pool. Atmospheric and contemporary, the bittersweet pop song pulls at the heart strings of everyone who knows the unsure period after “a brief flicker of what initially looked like love” as Lioba puts it.
The previous single At The Pool is a fantasy summertime romp, the lyric “I’m making out with her then her lover joins in” is particularly evocative. Magnolia is an elegant and considered piano-led ballad. Smile fits in as the reflective moment, the calm after the storm. A diary entry style date, 20th April 2019, flashes up as the music video opens accentuating the home-footage style feel of the handheld camera, potentially a camera phone. The camera wobbles sometimes endearingly as if filmed by a lover. The black and white intimate piano performance runs throughout the video interrupted by cuts to vast pink skies, along with similarly hued natural surroundings. The interior world in conversation with the exterior reminds us of how universal the intimate feelings are Lioba expresses. Playful and not taking itself too seriously, there is also a portion of time dedicated to Lioba’s feet at the piano. Faceless this second anonymising element continues to push the narrative from the personal to the all-reaching. Pop, after all is for everyone not just for the artist.